Skip to main content
A Top University for International Students in the U.S.

Strengthen Your English Proficiency

The English Language Program (ELP) at Biola University will enhance your English language skills in both comprehension and communication. You’ll be able to take advantage of unique opportunities for personal and spiritual development, all while accessing a nationally ranked Christian education in Southern California. Ranked as a top university by U.S. News & World Report, Biola welcomes you to join our caring community and learn from our expert professors.

Undergraduate Students

Accelerated Learning Placement (ALP)

The Accelerated Learning Placement (ALP) is designed for undergraduate students to advance their English language while earning a bachelor’s degree. Language practice is incorporated in their undergraduate courses, and Biola’s foreign language requirement will be met.

Learn More About ALP

Graduate Students

Academic English Program (AEP)

The Academic English Program (AEP) is designed for graduate students and provides coursework with advanced comprehension of English. The program also aids students with writing dissertations, master’s theses and publications.

Learn More About AEP

Why Join Biola’s English Language Program?

Language Learning

Advance your proficiency in English reading, writing, listening and speaking through expert instruction and specially designed programs.

Cultural Immersion

Experience the best of Southern California and interact with English speakers — all while engaging in a diverse university community with over 600 global students.

Christian Education

Deepen your faith through biblical integration, Christian community and opportunities for spiritual development.

Supportive Professors

Interact with experienced and supportive faculty and tutors who are committed to your academic success and personal growth.

Undergraduate Students

Accelerated Learning Placement (ALP)

The Accelerated Learning Placement (ALP) is for undergraduate students — international or U.S. applicants whose first language is not English — admitted to Biola University. Students will complete two semesters of general education and major or minor courses with all credits counting toward their graduation requirement.

Admissions Process

Those who qualify as ALP students (as indicated on the proficiency requirement below) must meet the undergraduate admission requirements for all international students and complete the application process, as outlined on the International Student Services website. We strongly encourage ALP students to apply early. Transfer students are welcome as well.

All undergraduate students who would like to improve their English proficiency but are above the indicated scores below, are still able to join ALP by emailing to inquire about reserved seats.

ALP English Proficiency Requirement

  • Program Level: Undergraduate
  • TOEFL iBT: 70–79
  • IELTS: 6.0
  • Duolingo: 110-124


All courses will count as credit towards the student’s graduation requirement.

Fall Semester

  • BBST 103*
  • ENGL 102*
  • Freshman Seminar
  • General Education or major/minor course (x2)

Spring Semester

  • COMM 235*
  • ENGL 104*
  • General Education or major/minor course (x2)

Note: These are the courses offered during the 2022–2023 academic year. The courses may change the following academic year.

Cost and Scholarship

Note: If you are a U.S. permanent resident or U.S. citizen, you can also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal aid.

Graduate Students

Academic English Program (AEP)

The Academic English Program (AEP) is designed for graduate students admitted to one of Biola University’s graduate programs whose TOEFL or IELTS scores fall just short of program requirements (TOEFL iBT ± 10 points; IELTS ± 0.5 points). Students interested in AEP must complete the graduate application to their program of interest.

Admissions Process

AEP students must meet the graduate admission requirements — which vary by each school and program — for all international students and complete the application process. We strongly encourage AEP students to apply early.

Explore programs and admissions requirements for:


AEP English Proficiency Requirement

  1. For programs that have a minimum of TOEFL iBT 90+, IELTS 7.0+ or Duolingo 125+
    • TOEFL iBT: 81–89 (with department approval)
    • IELTS: 6.5
    • Duolingo: 110-124
  2. For programs that have a minimum of TOEFL iBT 100+, IELTS 7.5+ or Duolingo 125+
    • TOEFL iBT: 90–97 (with department approval)
    • IELTS: 7.0
    • Duolingo: 110-124


Students in the AEP track will take the following course alongside their graduate courses. The course required will be determined upon admissions confirmation.

  • ENGL 084 Advanced Writing and Speech Lab for Graduate Students

Cost and Scholarship

Note: Although scholarships offered through Biola cannot be applied to AEP courses, it can be applied for the program of study.

Note: If you are a U.S. permanent resident or U.S. citizen, you can also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal aid.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I take part in ELP if I’m a current Biola student?

Current Biola students can request to take ELP courses by emailing

Can international students work on an F-1 visa?

Yes, an international student on an F-1 visa may only work at Biola for up to 20 hours a week during the school semester and up to 40 hours a week during the summer break. Enrolled students can look at Biola’s on-campus job openings through Handshake.

What if I’m an international student currently studying in the United States?

If you are currently studying at a U.S. school on an F-1 student visa and you would like to transfer to Biola University, please follow the Application Steps (ALP or AEP) listed under your program page. If accepted, you’ll need to complete the SEVIS Transfer Authorization Form. For more information, visit Visa Information or contact our international admissions team. In addition, our team will help you determine how your coursework transfers.

What should my TOEFL/IELTS score be to qualify for the English Language Program?

To enter the English Language Program, you will need a high-intermediate level of English. Please refer to the minimum test score requirements under the “Admissions Process” section for ALP or AEP. Additional assessment may be required.

Will there be tutoring service available for ELP students?

Yes, Biola’s Learning Center offers one-on-one and group tutoring, and the Rhetoric & Writing Center provides help with any writing assignments, research reports, graduate theses, conference presentations and conversational English for three free 50-minute appointments each week.

Are there scholarships available for ELP students?

For international students, explore Biola's International Student Scholarships. Additionally, U.S. permanent residents and U.S. citizens students can apply for FAFSA.

Will there be someone to help international students transition to the United States?

Biola has more than 600 global students from 40 different countries, so there is a well-developed community through the Global Student Programs & Development (GSPD).

professor shaking a students hand

Yes! Tell Me More!

Meet the Faculty and Staff

Bonnie Vidrine-Isbell

Director, English Language Program
Associate Professor

Alice Song

Adjunct Professor

Carla Smithson

Adjunct Professor

Aarika Leigh Alura


Dong Chen

Director of International Admissions

Megan Mitts

International Admissions Coordinator

Ty Mussack

International Admissions Counselor for Undergraduate Students

Rachel Kim

International Admissions Counselor for Undergraduate Students

Ceressa Manzo

International Admissions Counselor for Graduate Students

Val Lazinos

Student Success Coordinator

Brooke O’Brien

International Student Visa Advisor

Noelle Delacruz

Associate Director, Global Student Programs & Development